What the heck is going on in Harrisonburg with the Mennonites?

Former Mennonite missionary convicted of secretly filming teenage eric_witness2relatives having sex with other students.  Reminds me of the scene from “Witness” after Harrison Ford, disguised as an Amish, had just beat the living shit out of a tormentor who thought the Amish were pacifists.  

Townsman: “Never seen anything like it in all my years!”

Mr. Lapp: [Trying to keep Ford’s cover from being blown] “He’s from Ohio, my cousin.”

Townsman:  “Well, them Ohio Amish must be… different. Around here, the brethren don’t have any of that kinda fight in ’em! Good day to you, Mr. Lapp! This ain’t good for the tourist trade, you know! Tell that to your Ohioan friend!”

And the Mennonite brethren gets two months in jail. I better not say anything else. Some of my readers probably know him. If they aren’t related to him. 😉

HARRISONBURG — A former Mennonite missionary who was convicted of secretly filming teenage relatives having sex with international students in Harrisonburg has been sentenced.

Andrew Max Eggman Jr. was sentenced yesterday in Rockingham County Circuit Court to 10 years in prison, with all but two months suspended. The 46-year-old defendant was sentenced under a plea agreement on charges of felony indecent liberties with a child in a supervisory position and felony production of child pornography.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Clark Ritchie said today that taking the case to trial would have been difficult because the Eastern Mennonite University students have returned to their homes abroad. The offenses occurred in 2006.

12 responses to “What the heck is going on in Harrisonburg with the Mennonites?

  1. How did Andrew Eggman become an trusted volunteer at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), join Virginia Mennonite Missions while rumors were circulating, and get only two months in jail for secretly filming sex acts of EMU international students with one of his young sons?

    It’s all relative (that is, who your relatives are).

    On page three of the May 2005 newsletter of the Virginia Mennonite Board of Missions (VMBM) and Virginia Mennonite Conference (VMC) (www.vmconf.org/connections/2005/may.pdf) Andrew Eggman opens a brief article by writing, “I have been approved by VMBM to return to
    China with my wife Lisa (Suter) and our son Jeremy in July to teach for a year.”

    This opening sentence seems innocent enough but closer examination reveals that it explains much of the unaccountable abuse that Eggman was nearly able to get away with before his March 10 prison sentence of 10 years – which, as part of the plea agreement, waives 9 years and 10 months.

    The Eggman’s were married in 1983. Lisa Eggman did not take her husband’s last name. Why, 22 years later, would Andrew Eggman, the VMBM, the VBC, and the readers of Eggman’s article find reference to his wife’s maiden name significant? The answer is quite simple. Lisa Ann Eggman (Suter) comes from one of the most influential families in the history of Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) and the North American Mennonite church. Lisa’s side of Andrew Eggman’s family tree matches closely the names of buildings at EMU (http://www.emu.edu/map/emu-campus-map-2007.pdf) with three Suter buildings, a Blosser building, and a Brunk building.

    Key members of the Eggman family tree:

    – Andrew Eggman’s grandfather-in-law was the younger brother of John Early Suter – EMU’s first registrar (http://www.emu.edu/crossroads/summer08/suter)
    – John Early Suter was the father of Daniel B. Suter, a legendary figure at EMU (http://www.emu.edu/crossroads/summer08/suter, http://www.emu.edu/news/index.php/1300).
    – John Early Suter was also the father-in-law of legendary figure and Eastern Mennonite Seminary (EMS) professor and Dean from 1949 to 1978 George Brunk II (http://www.emu.edu/marketing/news/gbrunk2d.html, http://www.bethelks.edu/mennonitelife/2002sept/brunk.php).
    – George Brunk II was the son of the legendary George Brunk I, the vice-president of EMU’s board of trustees (http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/contents/B78713.html.)
    – George Brunk II was also the brother of Ruth Brunk Stoltzfus (http://www.emu.edu/news/index.php/1312).
    – George Brunk II was also the father of George Brunk III, EMS faculty member, Dean, and Vice-President since 1974 (http://www.emu.edu/seminary/features/brunktoambs).

    Eggman Timeline:

    Combining this article (http://www.mennoweekly.org/2009/3/23/former-missionary-sentenced-virginia/), and your own article (http://www.dnronline.com/news_details.php?AID=36186&CHID=2), as well as a few others, we get a timeline that looks like this:

    – August 2004 – Andrew Max Eggman Jr., 46, filmed a minor and two international students from Eastern Mennonite University having sex at his home in 2004. Sgt. Felicia Glick of the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office said Eggman allegedly conspired with a business partner in California to make pornographic movies and sell them.

    On a page linked to EMU’s Web site, which has since been removed, it lists an event at Eggman’s home. The event was for a picnic on July 4, 2004, for international students. EMU officials say they are cooperating with the investigation but declined to comment further.

    – 2004 or 2005? – Victims revealed to Harrisonburg Mennonite church members that Eggman would secretly tape the teenagers having sex with Eastern Mennonite University Chinese and Japanese foreign exchange students. “The church members did not call the police at this time,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Clark Ritchie said. “Instead, it was decided by these members to conduct an ‘intervention’ where Eggman made some incriminating statements. It was again decided not to contact law enforcement because Eggman agreed to enter a treatment facility in California.”

    – 2005 – Virginia Mennonite Missions appointed Eggman as a worker in July 2005. VMM terminated Eggman’s service Dec. 2, 2005, and called him home after the allegations surfaced. These allegations were not reported to the police at this time.

    – 2006 – The late Deputy Les Steele of the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home on Hawthorn Circle after some local church members called police regarding a child pornography case. Ritchie said they called police after trying to “work with” Eggman “in regard to his problems.” Police searched Eggman’s home and found “scores” of videotapes but none of them had illicit materials on them [due to the delayed nature of the church members report to police.

    – 2007 – Eggman’s friends and family turned over a video to police that showed the minors having sex with two Asian EMU international students.

    – 2009 – Eggman pleads guilty and is sentenced to two months in prison.

    The obvious questions:

    The obvious questions for any aspiring reporter are: Who knew what and when? What action did they take? Why was justice failed at every turn of events?

    For more information:

    Andrew Eggman: http://www.emu.edu/events/detail.php3?id=5594 (This link previously was notice of an event listing Eggman’s phone number. As the local paper reports the link, “…has since been removed, it lists an event at Eggman’s home. The event was for a picnic on July 4, 2004, for international students.”) Photos of Eggman and his family, often with exchange students, are easily found on the web.

    Suter family name [from the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online – http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/contents/suter%5D:

    Suter (Sutter, Suttor, Suder), a Mennonite family name, meaning shoemaker, originating in Kölliken, canton of Aargau, Switzerland. Persons by the name of Suter were known to have been members of the Waldenses in the canton of Bern many years before the beginning of the Anabaptist movement there. In 1538 Jacob Suter is mentioned as having been persecuted for his Anabaptist faith. Members of this family moved to Mennonite communities in Germany and to Florimont and Audincourt, France. Others came to America, settling chiefly in Rockingham County, Virginia, and Putnam County, Ohio, where a number of them have become leaders in the Mennonite Church (MC). Christian Suter (1791-1874), the second bishop of the Putnam County, Ohio, Swiss Mennonite congregation, helped to organize a Swiss Mennonite congregation in Madison Township, Polk County, Iowa, in 1858. Emanuel Suter (1833-1902), an active layman (MC) in Rockingham County, wrote extensively for Mennonite periodicals and served as secretary of the Virginia Conference for about 15 years. His grandson J. Early Suter and the latter’s son Daniel B. Suter are ministers in the Virginia Conference, and Daniel is a teacher at Eastern Mennonite College.

    Brunk family name [from the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online – http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/contents/B7866%5D:

    Brunk (Bronk, Bronck) is a Swiss family name found among the Mennonites in the Palatinate about 1700 and among the American Mennonites since the last quarter of the 18th century. About 1773 Jacob Brunk came to America from Europe, settled first in Pennsylvania, and in 1795 in Frederick County, Virginia. His sons Christian, Joseph, and George located in Maryland. Christian’s son Christian (1832-1906) was a Mennonite preacher near Winchester, Virginia, and his son George (1831-?) served as a preacher first at Broadway, Virginia, and later at Elida, Ohio. A number of the descendants of George Brunk (born 1831) were ministers and deacons in the Mennonite Church (MC). The most influential members of the Brunk family in the Mennonite Church have been Bishop George R. Brunk (1871-1938) first of Kansas, later Virginia, founder and first editor of The Sword and Trumpet, and author of Ready Scriptural Reasons (Scottdale, 1926); and his sons, Bishop Truman Brunk, who had often served as moderator of the Virginia Mennonite Conference, and George R. Brunk, II, a Mennonite evangelist.

    The Brunks have also been prominent in musical circles in the Mennonite Church. Christian H. Brunk (1845-1921) was an active layman and music composer of Rockingham County, Virginia; he served on the committee which compiled the Church and Sunday School Hymnal (1902). He also compiled a Sunday-school hymnbook entitled, Bible School Hymns and Sacred Songs (Elkhart, 1883). John D. Brunk (1872-1926) came from Rockingham County, Virginia, was a composer of music, and served as professor of music in Goshen College. He was the music editor of the Church Hymnal, Mennonite (Scottdale, 1927), the best hymnbook of his body of Mennonites to that time

    Family Tree:

    1 Fannie Barbara Roudabush 1866-1920 married John Robert Suter 1863-1945:

    2 John Early Suter 1887-1967 (son of Fannie Roudabush and John Suter)
    married Nettie Pearl Blosser (daughter of Daniel Blosser):

    3 Margaret Grace Suter 1911-1999 (daughter of John Suter and Nettie Blosser)
    married George Rowland Brunk II 1911-2002 son of George Rowland Brunk I and Katie Wenger – George Brunk II is also the brother of Ruth Brunk Stoltzfus:

    4 George Rowland Brunk III 1939 – married Erma Mae Hess

    3 Daniel B. Suter 1920-2006 (son of John Suter and Nettie Blosser) married Grace F. Fisher 1919-

    2 Menno Roudabush Suter (son of Fannie Roudabush and John Suter) 1907-1987 married
    Margaret M. Wenger 1910-1985:

    3 Nelson Suter (son of Menno Suter and Margaret M. Wenger) 1934- married Donna
    Lee Brunk 1938-:

    4 Lisa Ann Suter (daughter of Nelson Suter and Donna Lee Brunk) 1963-
    married Andrew Eggman in 1983

    Gospel Herald (Mennonite) Obituaries (see links above for information on others):

    1. Suter. – John R., son of the late Emanuel and Elizabeth Swope Suter, was born Feb. 24, 1863; died Feb. 26, 1945, after an illness of twelve weeks; aged 82 y. 2 d. He was born at New Erection, Va., and spent his entire life in that community, where he was loved by all who knew him. On Nov. 5, 1884, he was married to Fannie Roudabush, who preceded him in death twenty-four years ago. Surviving are 10 children (J. Early, Lawrence, Homer, Jacob, W. Tracey, Robert, Menno, and Claude, all of near Harrisonburg, Va.; Mrs. Lewis Showalter, Broadway, Va.; and Nettie E., at home), 25 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren. 4 brothers (E. J. and P. S., of Harrisonburg; C. C., Pittsburg, Pa., and E. C., of New Erection), one sister (Mrs. D. P. Wenger, of New Erection). He and his wife united with the Mennonite Church the year they were married. He taught a Sunday-school class for a number of years and was secretary of the Old Folks, Singing at Weaver’s Church for thirty-three years. Funeral services were held at Weaver’s Church, in charge of S. H. Rhodes, C. K. Lehman , and Timothy Showalter. Interment was made in the near-by cemetery.

    2. Suter, John Early, [Eastern Mennonite University’s first registrar], son of John R. and Fannie (Roudabush) Suter, was born at Harrisonburg, Va., Feb. 7, 1887; died Jan. 20, 1967, at the Virginia Mennonite Home, Harrisonburg, from complications following a fractured hip; aged 79 y. 11 m. 13 d. On Oct. 8, 1907, he was married to N. Pearl Blosser, who died Apr. 28, 1958. Surviving are 4 children (Margaret¬Mrs. George R. Brunk, Mary¬Mrs. Zack Turner, Frances¬Mr. Frank Harman, and Daniel B.), 15 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, one sister (Nettie), and 5 brothers (Homer, Jacob, Tracy, Robert, and Menno). On Aug. 11, 1907, he was ordained to the ministry, serving the Gospel Hill Church and other churches of the Middle District. At the time of his death he was a member of Weavers Church, where funeral services were held Jan. 22, with DeWitt Heatwole, C. K. Lehman, Ralph Heatwole, and Branson Conley officiating.

    2. Suter, N. Pearl, oldest daughter of Daniel A. and Mary (Showalter) Blosser, was born near Harrisonburg, Va., July 8, 1888; died very suddenly at her home while engaged in a telephone conversation with her sister, April 28, 1958; aged 69 y. 9 m. 20 d. She was afflicted with heart dropsy and did not enjoy good health for some time, but she was able to attend church and do her housework. On Oct. 9, 1907, she was married to J. Early Suter, who had recently been ordained a minister. Surviving are her husband, 4 children (Margaret-Mrs. George R. Brunk, Denbigh, Va.; Mary-Mrs. Zack Turner, Broadway, Va.; and Frances-Mrs. Frank Harman and Daniel both of Harrisonburg, Va.), 15 grandchildren, 3 sisters and 3 brothers (Mrs. Elmer Brunk, Mrs. Homer Suter, Marie Blosser, Daniel J., Michael O., and Mahlon L., all of near Harrisonburg, Va.). She accepted Christ in her youth and was a faithful member of the Mennonite Church. She was a helpful companion to her husband as they served the church at various places in the district, in late years pasturing the Gospel Hill Church. Living beside the campus of Eastern Mennonite college she extended her hospitality to many visitors. Funeral services were held at Weavers Church, April 30, in charge of Daniel W. Lehman, J. L. Stauffer, and E. Paul Good. Interment in Weavers Cemetery.

    Blosser.-Daniel Aldine Blosser was born Jan. 30 1863; passed away at his late home near Harrisonburg, Va., Nov. 10, 1944; aged 81 y. 9 m. 10 d. He was one of a family of nine children born to Peter and Maglalene Rhodes Blosser, only two of whom survive him; the oldest, Samuel H., of Dayton, Va., and the youngest, Rudolph P., of North Lima, Ohio. On July 11, 1886, he was united in marriage with Mary C. Showalter, daughter of the late Michael and Elizabeth Shank Showalter, of near Broadway, Va. She was called home March 3, 1927, since which time his daughter Marie shared the home with him. Four daughters and three sons were born to this union; Mrs. J. Early Suter, Mrs. Elmer R. Brunk, Mrs. Homer R. Suter, Marie S., Daniel J., Michael O., and Mahlon L., all living near Harrisonburg, Va. Also surviving are 13 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. One great-grandchild preceded him. He became ill and entered Rockingham Memorial Hospital on May 19, where he was a patient for ten weeks. He was then removed to his home, where all that was possible was done for his comfort by his family and nurses. He was a faithful member of the Mennonite Church for about sixty years and enjoyed the happy privilege of seeing all of his children and grandchildren unite with the church of his choice. He took great interest in the work of the church, and was always ready to contribute, not only in a material way, but served as Sunday-school superintendent and teacher, and also as church chorister for many years. Although educational opportunities for him as a young man were rather limited, he was much interested in the education of the youth of the church today. He took an active interest in the growth and development of Eastern Mennonite School, serving on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for almost twenty-five years. Much time and energy as well as material aid were given that the School might serve the best interests of the church. He was remarkably active up to the time of his illness. He enjoyed the simple Christian way of living, having spent much of his life on the farm. After retiring he still took great interest in his work about the home and maintained his mental facilities to a remarkable degree until the last. In all his affliction he was a patient sufferer, looking to the Lord for grace and comfort as he waited the time when he could depart to be with his Lord. Services at the home were conducted by J. L. Stauffer and at Weaver’s Church by Chester K. Lehman and S. H. Rhodes. Text, Ps. 57:1. Interment was made in the adjoining cemetery.

    2. Suter, Menno R., son of John R. and Fannie (Roudabush) Suter, was born in Rockingham Co., Va., Mar. 16, 1907; died at Rockingham Memorial Hospital, Harrisonburg, Va., Jan. 7, 1987; aged 79 y. On Apr. 19, 1930, he was married to Margaret Wenger, who survives. Also surviving are 5 sons (Jerrel D., Everett L., Nelson E., Gary L., and John R. ), one daughter (Betty S. Wenger), 11 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and one sister (Nettie Suter). He was a member of Weaver’s Mennonite Church, where memorial services were held on Jan. 9, in charge of Daniel Suter, Isaac Risser, and Roy Good.

    3. Brunk – Bishop George Reuben Brunk , son of Henry G. and Susan (Heatwole) Brunk, was born near Geneseo, Ill., Dec. 31, 1871; died suddenly while at work on the evening of April 30, 1938, at his home near Denbigh, Va.; aged 66 y. 4 m. His activities and unfailing interest in the Church and home continued to the very last. On the day of his death he completed and mailed the July issue of the “Sword and Trumpet,” through which medium he labored faithfully for the welfare of the Church at large.
    When he was two years of age his family moved on the western prairie near Marion, Kansas, later locating near Groveland, Kansas. Here, as a young man, he was brightly converted under the ministry of Bro. J.S. Coffman. At the age of 21 he was ordained to the ministry at West Liberty Church in Kansas, and at the age of 26 ordained to the office of Bishop, having oversight of the Spring Valley and Catlin congregations. In 1910 he with his family moved to Denbigh, Va., where he had bishop charge of congregations in southeastern Virginia until his death. From his ordination to the ministry he was actively engaged in evangelistic work for many years.

    At the age of 28 years he married Katie Wenger of Harrisonburg, Va. To this home came nine children, making an unbroken family until the departure of a precious and loving husband and father. How we miss his tender sympathies, his counsels, his prayers. The strong pillar of our home is removed and we are a broken family here; yet heaven seems much nearer and we long for the time of meeting. He so often prayed that we might meet an unbroken family over there. We know that he is even now waiting for each one of us, as his expressed himself in these original lines:
    “Not only through earth’s toilsome years, do parents watch and wait
    For children scatter far; but having heard the Master’s call,
    And folded earth work all aside and gone away,
    The vigil is not ended; the alter fires of love still burn within.
    From that far land they watch and wait, for the children to come Home.”

    He leaves his sorrowing companion and nine children: Esther Virginia, Truman Henry (minister), Stella Victoria (Mrs. J. Ward Shank, Broadway, Va.), Edna Frances (Mrs. Arthur Hertzler), Meno Simon, George Rowland (minister), Katie Florence (Mrs. John F. Shank, Broadway, Va.), Ruth Wenger, and Lawrence Burkhart. There are nine grandchildren. He is also survived by one brother (Pre. J.F. Brunk, Newton, Kans.), two sisters (Mrs. J.A. Cooprider, Hesston, Kans., and Mrs. Walter Cooprider, McPherson, Kans.), one half-brother (Charles W. Cooprider of Windom, Kans.), and two half-sisters (Mrs. E.J. Ely of Inman, Kans., and Mrs. O.E. Hostetler of McPherson, Kans.).
    Funeral services at the home were in charge of Bro. Daniel Shenk, and at the Warwick River Mennonite Church by Bro. J.L. Stauffer (Texts, I Samuel 20:18 and II Timothy 4:6-8), assisted by Bros. C.C. Culp, S.H. Rhodes, J.R. Driver and Daniel Kauffman.
    The sorrowing family.

  2. Umm. That was a liiiitle too much info, but some of it was great. I get that connected people get special treatment. And that some Christians try too hard to give sinners a break in the hope that they can pursuade them to cease. I’d have turned the bastard into the cops in a heartbeat.

  3. The Inside Story.
    What Mr. Eggman did was wrong. What people with their own agenda, news papers, assistant district attorney said and did were also wrong.
    Mr. Eggman did have some issues that ended in 2004. He sought help and finished the entire program to help with his past problems. The programs and their completion can all be confirmed. What Mr. Eggman did wrong in 2004 was to tell his 17 and 19 year old sons when their mother would be gone and when she would return, so that they could hook up with their 18 year Japanese girlfriends. Mr. Eggman was not in the house when they actually hooked up with their girlfriends. The other problem was a 6 hour Nanny cam was recording during that time and caught Mr. Eggman’s voice on it, and telling the guys when he would be returning later with their mother. Mr. Eggman at no time ever viewed the Nanny Cam tape in question. Mr. Eggman was too interested in his older son’s lives and therefore had a problem with Voyeurism. This is what led Mr. Eggman to his past problems. All this happened before any of the Eggman’s went to China. There was no production or sales of tapes as the paper implied. This is something people just made up to try to make Mr. Eggman look bad. It is called slander. If he had then he would be in a federal prison right now. Why did the papers slander him so much? Well, because they had their own agenda. Their agenda was to sale papers and make sensational news. That is what papers do to gets viewers and business. The “news” articles went from freedom of speech to Slander. Can he sue for slander? Yes! He could, but since suing is against his faith and beliefs, he wouldn’t. His goal is to fallow Christ example.
    1 Peter 2:21-23 (New International Version) says ……. “ To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps.
    “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”
    What is redemption? Can someone be forgiven, set free and leave their past behind? Is an alcoholic always an alcoholic, even after they have been dry for 35 years? When is one persons sin greater then another’s? Is adultery a greater sin than fornication? Is lying greater than lust? Is pride greater than slander? Each offence brings its own punishment. Who can cast the first stone? The only one who ever lived who had no sin was Jesus. Did he cast the stone at the woman in John 8:11, who had been caught in adultery? What did he tell the woman? He told her to go and sin no more. The NIV Bible says to “Go and leave your life of sin”. Jesus did not condemn the woman he just told her to change her life and stop sinning. Often people like to point their finger at another persons fault’ or failures and not look at their own sin. What they fail to see is when they are pointing their finger at the other person is the other fingers pointing back at themselves.
    Another question one may ask is if the woman had been caught, then where was the man? I guess it was just a one sided punishment.
    In Genesis 38, we read about Judah. He slept with a woman named Tamar. This was his daughter in-law. She was disguised so he did not know it was Tamar he was sleeping with. Both were guilty of sexual sin. When Judah found out she was pregnant he condemn her to be burned to death. Judah had done the same sin. She was pregnant because of him. He applied a one sided judgment. When he realized he was the father he relented. When is it right to judge another person? The Bible says we can judge someone by their fruit, but by the same measure we judge, we will be judged. Therefore as fruit inspectors, we must be very careful. Does the person have good fruit or rotten fruit? By their fruit we will know what kind of person they really are.
    The Bible scriptures below help us to see how we all can become free from our past and receive forgiveness and mercy from God
    The Bible teaches that the wages of sin is death and unless we receive Jesus, God’s son, and follow him, then we will need to pay the full payment of our sin ourselves.
    The Bible also says in 1 John 1 : 8-10 “if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we clam we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”
    John 3:16,17 “’For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
    Titus 3:4,5 “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit..”
    Hebrews 4:15,16 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

  4. Why you bending over backwards to excuse what he did? “A problem with voyeurism”? “Too interested in his son’s lives”? I’m not disputing that any of us could fall and commit sin. But we have laws to prevent all of us from doing that. We don’t need mamby pambys going around making excuses for them. Do the crime, do the time. Leave the mercy and grace up to God.

  5. so John Doe or Davidson whatever you want to call yourself so
    what laws have you broken? how many of the 10 commandments have you kept? It is fine to call some thing on another but do you judge yourself the same way or justify saying my sin was not that bad?

  6. These men do not just harm a child. They can destroy that persons life entirely, and the effects of that sprout tendrils long and thorny through entire communities. The victim, they lose their innocence, their faith, their ability to believe in a God, the confusion of moral instruction that does not qualify condemnation of homosexuality or even sexuality outside of wedlock in a way that a child can comprehend, if that were even possible.

    The family, the friends, the horror they endure when their loved one begins to spiral into addiction, mental illness, spiritual fugue.

    The guilt the parents instinctively feel in failing to protect their child. The resentments that brings to both.

    The friends who cannot understand why the bright star they knew shattered so violently, so embarassingly, so intrusively. The pain they feel in mourning for the living ghost. The guilt they feel for resenting this persons desperation and neediness. The oversharing.

    The erosion of the relationship between the parent. It is impossible for most relationship to survive a suicide, a stillbirth, a severely handicapped child. The reflected pain of the child knowing that he is the catalyst.

    Some survive and reconcile. They are few and frail. You will not find them in the congregation on Sunday morning.

    Some even more pitiable survivors undergo Kafka’s Metamorphosis, a shift that takes place over decades rather than days. They must watch themselves become monsters. Becoming a new generation of victimizers. Not understanding why or how, or why they are allowed to continue. Why no one stops them, sees their chitin develop. Eggman’s children.

    Some will kill themselves.
    Some will be committed to institutions of the state.
    Some will die the slow death of alcoholism or drug addiction.
    Some will thrive and prosper. Through guts or daring or faith or the touch of the divine, some will come out stronger, more empathic, more understanding. Lead and transform communities, revise theological frameworks.

    Myself, I had to study in the John Howard Yoder Library in College. The only thing I really took away from the experience was a piece of that goddamn stone with his name on it. Our most prominent ethical theologian. A sexual predator unchecked for decades. A man still celebrated. No one talks about the allegations of rape. Of groping. Spoken by ghosts, wounded souls scared to confront a powerful pillar of community. Their stories are quiet and only murmured.

    Every man must choose how much sin they can bear. Is there beauty in a man walking into the pit, knowingly condemning himself, to confront an injustice?

    What I will say next is certain to anger, to elicit an eruption of academic, theological, ethical debate for it is counter to one of our central tennets.

    It is difficult to fondle a child with hobbled hands, with shattered knees.
    This is my gospel. Hobble the groping hand. Contrary to idiom an act of such transgression transgression can transform, can console. Can heal.

  7. And it halts the cycle.
    You are already imprisoned. Confessional, mortal consequence, these are not harder to bear than the sentence you currently serve.
    The only important consideration is: just how much sin can you accept?

  8. What is your soul worth? Is it a selfish desire to refuse to transgress if that transgression might leave some souls untouched by that hand? Some communities not torn apart.

    If I had the stomach as a young man to return to that bearded bastard a dozen attrocities avoided. Is Bonhoeffer’s gambit misguided?

  9. Walt that is disgusting. Is that Walt short for Showalter?

  10. And Lisa, I presume, is perhaps Lisa Eggman?

  11. If its anything to do with Eastern Mennonite university, its nothing like its old roots decades ago. Its a liberal ‘Mennonite’ school now. You wont see that kind of activity in your conservative or old order groups, the ‘plain dressed’ folks who’s women wear the head coverings, and also the horse and buggy conference group. If Eastern Mennonite is on your college ‘short list’, you might as well enroll at U.C. Berkeley, along with their worldly shenanigans!!

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